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Thread: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

  1. #1
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    Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    Im in the luck position of having just bought a Giotto/Mazzer Mini combo for home (thanks Chris @ Talk Coffee), releasing my Simonelli Oscar/Rocky doserless combo to go to the office. I thought that given this is basically the bottom and top end of the Hx range and two commonly discussed/considered grinders that sharing my lived experience of the products might be of interest to others.

    So after 2 days - some initial thoughts.

    The Giotto is quieter, everything from pump noise, to boiler element noise.

    Milk texturing on the Giotto is a much more pleasurable experience - mostly due to appropriate level of power (ie. right sized holes) combined with good direction of holes - the Giotto holes are much more parallel with the wand, the Simonelli more perpendicular.

    The loading of the portafilter on the Giotto is fantastic compated to the Oscar. The Giotto is a smooth long twist to load, the Oscar is much more of a short/tight load. I dont find myself fighting with the machine to load the portafilter with the Giotto, whereas Im often using two hands with the Oscar to stop in moving on the bench.

    I find the lever on the Giotto and the hot water outlet are too close together, but that said I still have not had any need to use the hot water tap - perhaps indicating that this shortcoming on the Oscar is no big deal for my use patterns.

    Ill have to give the grinders more time. At the moment I am struggling a bit making the transition from doserless to doser - and from a practice point of view they are very different. It wouldnt be fair to comment just yet. The grinds coming out of the mazzer just seem more silky at the moment.

    Will update as I live the experience over the next few weeks/months.

    Tim

  2. #2
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    Great write up...I hope you enjoy your current setup for many years to come...if not you can load the Giotto off to me ;)

  3. #3
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    Youre achieving what it should be all about, Tim, taking pleasure in making good coffee.

    Keep on enjoying.

    --Robusto

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience


    Sounds like the perfect home set-up.

    One note on the hot water wand. I use it to pre-warm the cups before the shot. But there is an alternative motivation. Using the hot water tap keeps the boiler water cycling and minimises scale build up in the boiler. Otherwise the only loss from the steam boiler is steam, which continuously increases the dissolved solids content in the boiler. Unless you use water with no dissolved solids, even filtered water will eventually drop out solids as the concentration builds up. The alternative to using the hot water tap is to periodically drain the steam boiler and refill it with fresh water.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  5. #5
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    Today I split a batch of beans in half, made a couple of shots at home using the Giotto/Mini, and then headed off to work, where throughout the day made another 3 shots on the Oscar/Rocky, and have made another tonight at home on the Giotto.

    The first shot on the Oscar the pour was a bit long. So I knocked it back a notch on rocky, and the next shot was a bit fast (not terrible, but a little sour). Left the grind alone, perhaps a slightly heavier dose and tamped harder - perfect. Probably too early still to be making statements about grinder performance, but I am starting to appreciate the mini.

    Any difference in the cup? Well - not when you get it right. Can you get it right more often with the Mini - perhaps. Does the machine seem to make any difference - not that I can tell in terms of the shot.

    When it comes to milk - the Giotto is a winner - but I think that is all about the tip - not the ability to delivery adequate steam.

    Can someone please machine me an adapter so I can put a Giotto tip (male) on my Oscar which takes a 10mm female tip? Then a direct comparison will be possible.

    On that - does anyone have any experience of the coffeeparts 4 hole tip? I have the 2 hole, and it is too slow/restricted - not enought violent whirlpool action in the jug. Also, anyone know the size of the holes on the 4-hole? And the angle? Im keen to find a replacement 10mm female tip that is as similar to the Giotto 2 hole tip as I can.

    Tim

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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    TimO,

    I too found the CoffeeParts 2 hole too restricted for use on the La Cimbali..... so I drilled them out to 1.5 mm (soft brass so easy to drill) along the original hole path.

    Now it is excellent. :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    OK, its been a month since I added to giotto/mini to the kit bag, so time to report in.

    Dosing. The biggest adjustment for me with the addition of the Giotto/Mazzer to my life has definitely been using a doser. After 1 months experience, Im a doserless kind of guy (scruncher/folder, doser/doserless, you know what I mean). Im sure my lack of learned appropriate dosing technique using the grind to order method with the mazzer mini has a lot to do with it, but for me the doser adds nothing. I find it messy, I waste a lot more coffee, and it just involved a whole lot of fluffing around that I dont do with the doserless rocky.

    Adjustment. There is a clear advantage of the mazzer mini over the rocky in ability to adjust grind to a fine degree. Im not finding however that Im fiddling to much with the grind on either my rocky or mini once dialled in anyway. Again Im sure my lack of need to fiddle reflects inconsistent technique (Ive got a lot of other stuff to get right before the benefits of the fine adjustent will be realised). So for me, if I had my time over, Id but a doserless grinder with an adjustment mechanism like the mini.

    Steam. The Oscar has a coffeeparts 2 hole steam tip. On Lucas advice, I had a go a drilling out the holes. I busted 1 HSS 1.5ml drill bit trying to do this with a regular handheld power drill. I then bought a cobalt 1.59ml drill bit, and this did the job. I now have steam very similar to the Giotto. No difference in performance. In fact the one benefit of the Oscar is that the ball joint on the wand is a little stiffer which I find of benefit when you are trying for minimal movement of the milk jug.

    Brewing. I dont really have anything to say on this one - both machines do the job the same.

    Refilling. Both easy, oscar easier as it has a flip top lid.

    Cup warming. Oscar is better. Cups at read of warming tray get condensation - I assume from the water tank. No such issue with Oscar. Both warm cups.

    Looks. The only thing bad about the Giotto is that the drip tray looks dirty, cause it is so shiny otherwise. Not so with Oscar - plastic back drip tray - cant see the grotty grounds.

    Hot water outlet. It works on the Giotto. I still dont use it. I dont now wish the Oscar had one.

    So - you get what you pay for, but that dosnt mean you cant get a combo that has very similar performance for half the money. I think the improvements in coffee production capability between the two packages is marginal. You get other things for your extra $ (build quality, looks etc), but with my skill levels, no real difference in performance. Others further along the snob continuum may be more sensitive to the subtle variations - just my experience.

    Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: Simonelli Oscar and Giotto - lived experience

    Hi Tim,

    When youre next coming up to Melbourne, drop me a line and Ill give you a run through doser technique...You will never look back ;)....However, if you want to trade the Mazzer on a K3T you have a deal and Ill sharpen the pencil for you...

    Chris



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